The Bachelor Season 21 Recap

It has been 7 years since I watched this show for more than 5 minutes while skimming through the channels. I remember watching Jake Pavelka’s season with my roommates back as a sophomore in college, and that was my first and only attempt with the franchise until now. I agreed to watch this season and compare notes with a friend back home each week and as any fan in “bachelor nation” knows, the finale was last night. It’s over, you can have your Monday night’s back, at least for a second before the bachelor himself, Nick Viall, competes on Dancing with the Stars. I have little to no patience to write weekly recaps, and I barely think I can get through this one, but I figured since I spent the time and effort to watch this season I may as well have something to show for it.

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 7.29.59 AM.png

 

Continue reading for some of my thoughts:

Continue reading

Whoops!

So somewhere between our trip to Boston to celebrate our anniversary and getting home from Green Bay last weekend for a family wedding this blog fell into an abyss and went missing forever and ever, never to be discovered again.

That was until I received about a million emails from my domain host trying to get me to renew the name GingerJams for next year already. (Excuse me, I think I have til April?). I have kind of forgotten about good ol’ GingerJams, but also have purposefully avoided doing anything on it because despite how many or how few people read a blog, the effort involved is still a same. And it’s a lot of effort, time, energy and a sprinkle of something else that takes a blog from boring words to (what I hope) is something entertaining, or at least useful.

So, in the last say, three to four months, what exactly have we been doing? Let’s slice and dice it by holidays, shall we?

Thanksgiving: We hosted our first ever Thanksgiving in our house in Georgia. My parents, sister and her boyfriend came down and stayed with us through the weekend. We made everything under the sun and ate until our buttons burst. We also got to enjoy the warmer Georgia November and explore things like Top Golf and show off our little town.

IMG_1564.jpg

Working on the Thanksgiving Tablescape

Christmas: We ventured up to Northwest Indiana for a week and spent this Holiday with my side of the family. The last two years we had spent in Tampa so we decided to be fair and shake it up a bit. We also attended a wedding in downtown Chicago on New Years Eve. Then, on our way back home we stopped off at Indiana University in Bloomington so I could show Jarob my old stomping grounds and catch up with one of my best friends for ever and ever and ever.

IMG_1359.JPG

Outside the Sample Gates at IU

January: Well since New Years Day was also covered in the Christmas post, January was slated with a lot of work between the two of us as the NFL ramped up for the Super Bowl and I started my new job at TNT.

Super Bowl: Also a National Holiday in my book… our neighbors were kind enough to host us for the evening and we noshed on pizzas, dips, wings and desserts. I made white chocolate covered pretzel rods with rainbow sprinkles for the kids and monster cookies for the adults. I’d never made monster cookies before, but I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was!

img_1504

 

Valentine’s Day: Yes, it counts! Valentine’s Day is exciting to me because it’s an excuse to eat chocolate and all sorts of decadent treats. We spent the proceeding weekend in Wisconsin (which is still one of my favorite states) to celebrate Jarob’s cousins wedding. Our room even had a stadium view of Lambeau Field. I know, so ritzy. On Valentine’s Day, I made Jarob his favorite breakfast casserole, some festive M&M brownies and got him the Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker. Might have been a bit of a reason I decided to get it, I can’t wait to use it too. Maybe I’ll do a review on it soon since I’m needing some inspo for this sucker as is.Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 8.04.15 AM.png

Oh, but most important part, we went to Dairy Queen for dessert (yeah we didn’t eat any thing we actually made for the day). I haven’t been to Dairy Queen for probably a year. I think the last time we went was my birthday last year. I’ve also realized it’s definitely a Midwest love affair, because those I mention the chain to around here don’t seem to be as infatuated. Why is my Valentine’s Day post longer than any of the others? Ha!

Next coming national holiday is February 21, the day of birth of yours truly. I guess I’ll be reporting on that coming up!

Product Review: Halo Top Ice Cream

Sooooo, ice cream is one of my favorite things in life. I’ll eat it for a snack, dessert, or if I’m throwing caution to the wind, a meal. I’ve seen people (mostly runners and food/fitness instagrammers) post tons of pictures of this magical, colorful little carton where you can eat the whole thing for in and around 300 calories. I’ve contemplated buying them for months, but never felt like paying $4.99 (at Kroger) for something that may… well.. suck.

img_0940

I got to try Enlightened ice cream when they sent me some free product, so there really was no financial risk involved (also, still recommend trying and I’m still TRYING to find the little pints of it instead of just the bars). Yesterday,  I decided I really wanted to try Halo Top, and for some serendipitous reason, it was on sale for $3.99 today only. A whole dollar off. I know a dollar isn’t a huge deal, but it was enough for me to put two flavors in my cart: Cookies and Cream and Birthday Cake. I’ll be providing my review of Birthday Cake in this post. 

Continue reading

Pumpkin Spice(d)

This week at home has been ahhhmazing. Sleeping in my own bed and using my own shower are top notch. I do miss the turn down service and fresh linens that just happen to appear though 😀

To really celebrate my first week home IN THE FALL I went to Target and bought everything I could find that was Pumpkin Spice. I’m talking Oreos, Almonds, Snack Cakes, Coffee, Oatmeal… plus a late addition of Pumpkin Spice Dark Chocolate (from Tuesday Morning). Most of these things are ridiculously delicious, here’s my two cents.

 

Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice Coffee– A must get. This was recommended to me by my friend Abby as the best Pumpkin flavored coffee she has ever had. It did not disappoint and even brought me back to my drip pot after a long love affair with my Keurig. I love the aroma while its brewing and cannot wait to have a cup of it every morning. The taste is on point. Go get you some!

Hammond’s Pumpkin Spice Dark Chocolate– in a moment of weakness at the Tuesday Morning Point of Purchase display, I snatched one of these up and am not at all ashamed. It’s a great mixture of dark chocolately goodness paired with just the right amount of pumpkin spice. Very small hint of the taste of fall, which is great if you’re a chocolate feen like me and do not want anyone to mess with your staples. I recommend this one.

Brach’s Double Crunch Pumpkin Pie Almonds– mehhh. I’m happy to try new things, but these were nothing to write home about. Crunchy, yes. But they tasted more like sugar/marshmallow than anything else. I would rather go for a dark chocolate covered (or plain at that) than have these again. They’re bright orange too, so that’s a bit unappealing.

Pumpkin Spice Oreos– these are pretty tasty. While there is nothing better than a traditional Oreo, I think NABISCO hit the nail on the head when they created these. The cookie is like that the Golden Oreo, while the filling pays homage to the season. The one weird thing is the color of the filling. A little bizarre for me. The filling also seems greasy when compared to the regular Oreo. Just close your eyes and eat them and you’ll be fine!

I still have yet to try the oatmeal & the snack cakes… a girl can only take so much without going overboard. Until next time. Happy Sunday and Happy Pumpking Spicing!

 

 

 

Product Review: Enlightened Crisps

Apparently I’m on a product review kick. It’s usually food items and today is no different. I am a big advocate of snacking, but I do also advocate for healthy snacking. This blog has allowed me to form relationships with companies of my choosing and discover new and amazing products out there. My latest, greatest find has been products from Englightened.

Englightened was launched in 2013, with ice cream products that promised taste, fiber, protein and all natural sweeteners while remaining low in calories. More recently, they have ventured into the savory snacking business, coming up with “crisps” made from broad beans. Broad beans are part of the legume family and also boast high levels of protein, fiber, potassium and Vitamin B. These beans have been cultivated in the Middle East for over 8,000 years and have since made their way West. They’ve been used as food, voting tokens and even had a place in funeral rites over the course of time. Today, Englightened roasts them with sunflower oil and sea salt and packages them in pretty little bundles for you to enjoy. IMG_2936 Continue reading

Product Review: Lenny and Larry’s Snickerdoodle Cookie

If you could have seen me trying this cookie, you would have seen my happy dance. While my chocolate chip review was favorable, this one is better! I even split this cookie with my husband for a little dessert date and though he knew it was “vegan” and “healthy” beforehand, he still thought it was delicious.

All the benefits of the previous cookie hold true:

  • 16g of protein, 8g of fiber (per whole cookie)
  • No dairy, eggs, soy, trans fat, artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols
  • Non-GMO
  • Kosher

Those stats alone are enough for a happy dance, but let’s talk about taste. Snickerdoodle has always been one of my favorite types of cookies. With this one, I was looking for flavor, texture, presentation, satiety, etc. IMG_2975

Continue reading

Product Review: Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie (chocolate chip)

Ok, I have seen these on shelves everywhere. Usually at Dicks Sporting goods, but then once I started to recognize them I saw them at gas stations and vitamins stores. I was always hesitant to grab one. What cookie sold to a health perspective can actually taste any good? Also, how in the world do you make a cookie without eggs, and moreover, a Vegan cookie sounds gross. Right? Wrong. After a bit of research online, I was convinced to stop over to the local Vitamin Shoppe and buy some. To my luck, there was a huge poster saying “Sale on protein bars and snacks” with a picture of the cookies I was going in to buy listed as one of the items on sale. IMG_2711

Continue reading

Last call for giveaway!

The brownie bar giveaway from Nature’s Bakery expires tonight, with a winner chosen tomorrow. Please be sure to enter by completing the following steps:

1. Follow Nature’s Bakery on Instagram (@naturesbakery)

2. Follow GingerJams by putting your email in the right side rail of this page or clicking the follow button. 

3. Leave a comment on this post letting me know you’ve done both of these steps! 

These could be yours!  Winner announced tomorrow!